[BALLET] SOAMES, Sally (photographer). Rudolf Nureyev [silver gelatin print]. 1978.
A large, and dramatic, silver gelatin photograph by Sally Soames, image size 41 x 61cm, sometime pasted on old board with the remains of the Sunday Times label to bottom margin and presented in an ivory-coloured acid-free mount; in very fresh condition with a couple of minor indentations.
An iconic three-quarter length photographic portrait of the Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993), also held in the collection of the Victoria & Albert museum.
Sally Soames (1937-2019) was, in her day, one of very few female newspaper photographers working in Fleet Street and this is one of her best-known pieces of work. Unusually she worked for both the Observer and The Sunday Times. Her fearlessness in war zones earned her much respect, as did her empathy with the suffering, born out of some traumatic engagements. Working exclusively in black and white, with little respect for the medium of colour photography which she considered 'vulgar', she liked to engage with her sitter on a personal basis before beginning her work. When capturing Nureyev it is said that she disarmed her notoriously prickly sitter with a tale of how she had broken her toe earlier in the day. Examples of her work are held by public and private collections worldwide including the National Portrait Gallery which houses 17 of her photographs.
Sold with the "Guardian News" exhibition catalogue of Sally Soames' work (2010).